Do not let the title fool you, I don’t mean that the Minnesota Twins are a lock to win the World Series. I mean that no matter how you look at it, Torii Hunter wins.
Hunter chose to “go home.” You have probably read a lot of that when news broke that the 39-year -old outfielder had decided to rejoin the Twins organization. He previously spent 15 years in Minnesota and ended up leaving the Twins for free agency after the conclusion of the 2007 season. Hunter has long been known as a great leader and the savvy veteran has just duped the entire baseball word with his decision to “go home.”
First off, Hunter was born in the state of Arkansas. He also currently lives with his family in the state of Texas in the offseason. Technically, if he wanted to “go home,” or in the vicinity, Hunter would have chosen to play for the Texas Rangers, who were also bidding for the services of the five-time All-Star.
Yes, Hunter spent 15 total seasons in the organization, but most of his teammates are gone, his manager is gone, and they don’t even play in the same ballpark. So what really was there for Hunter to “go home” to?
Torii Hunter: “I’ve been a free agent three times and this is by far the toughest decision. Do I go with my heart or my desires? . . . 1/2
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 25, 2014
A big reason was the one-year deal worth $10.5 million that is bringing back Hunter to the team that drafted him. What a great story, he went with his “heart” and not with the “desire” to win. Or maybe he did go with his desire, only it was desire for the most money and projected playing time.
This really just was a win-win move for Hunter. He gets to play for what will most likely be a fourth place team, that will play him no matter what his on the field, and off-the field, performance turns out to be. The addition of Hunter, may simply serve the purpose of bringing back the nostalgic fans to Target Field.
torii hunter got full no-trade from twins (tho never seen team personnel happier to have anyone so not sure he needs it)
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) December 3, 2014
And something tells me that even though the Twins organization appears content with overpaying for a soon to be 40-year-old outfielder, and that Hunter has 10.5 million reasons to be happy in Minnesota, that happiness should probably last until the trading deadline. Despite the criticism Hunter has received on his declining defense, his bat has remained consistently formidable the past couple of seasons and teams will most likely call the Twins to inquire about Hunter.
Obviously Hunter has a full-no trade clause, but this is the same guy who said just over a year ago that he’s all about winning a championship. Maybe his desire to win will prompt him to waive his no-trade clause and allow the Twins to trade the veteran for something in return. Now Hunter looks like the old homegrown player who has one last gift to give the Twins organization, which will most likely be a mid-level prospect.
I can’t believe Hunter’s desire to go back home made him settle for a one-year deal. Must be planning on retiring, I believe.
— Aaron Cornielle™ (@AaronCornielle) December 3, 2014
Now maybe I have gotten this all wrong, maybe Hunter just does not have those championship aspirations he once did. After all, choosing to simply return home, say goodbye to the Minnesota faithful, and going out like a hero, does sound like a win in my book, especially when you’re making $10.5 million. But if he went home betting on a Jeter-esque farewell tour, he’s going to lose that one.